Diana Zuñiga: Jerry Brown’s “plan” keeps California on the same road we’ve been down for 30 years: more money going to corrections and even more allocated to prison expansions.
Christie Thompson: Prison officials have blamed crowding for contributing to “an increase in riots and disturbances.” And the more inmates there are, the more likely it is that prison officials will respond to violence with broad-brush security measures.
Sharon Kyle: Given the public’s short attention span, it’s no wonder juicy celebrity gossip and salacious headlines have come to dominate the “news”. This is great for those who don’t want us to pay attention.
Sharon Kyle: In a relatively short period of time, our nation has incarcerated enough people to create the second largest city in the United States. Releasing a few tens of thousand prisoners for overcrowding won’t change much or will it?
Jeanne Woodford: By replacing the death penalty, California will free up much-needed funds for DNA testing and other vital tools needed to tackle the shocking 46% of murder and 56% of reported rape cases that remain unsolved in our state every year, on average.
Anthony Samad: Los Angeles County’s best option is to overhaul the Probation Department. Put it in receivership like they did the Health Department and Children & Family Services.
Anthony Portantino: Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced legislation that shifts the prison reform debate from an early release and sentencing reform emphasis to stopping the revolving door at California’s prisons.
Jasmyne Cannick: Rather than call Eagles owner Jeffrey Laurie, the President could have really made an impact by addressing employers throughout America on the importance of giving all ex-prisoners—regardless of their football playing ability—a second chance and freeing them from a life without the possibility of employment.
Diane Lefer: The restorative justice model is able to keep the compassionate focus on those who have suffered most from violent crime–the victims, while still addressing the factors that drive crime and recidivism and without denying the humanity of the imprisoned.
The Assembly cannot agree on what seems like common sense to the rest of us: people who commit low-level crimes like petty theft and simple drug possession should be punished on the local level, not in prison cells at a cost of nearly $50,000 per person per year.
The “Prison Population and Budget Reduction Package” proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is like a drunk person walking home from a bar – it knows where it wants to go but oftentimes you find it stumbling off the sidewalk or turning down the wrong street.
If the Governor converts all death sentences to permanent imprisonment, he could then use that $1 billion check to actually make California safer by keeping more police on the streets and more crime labs open.